SJSU’s Lisa Millora and Marie Tuite Named 2020 “Women of Influence” by Silicon Valley Business Journal

San Jose State University’s Lisa Millora and Marie Tuite have been named to the 2020 list of 100 “Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Millora serves as chief of staff in SJSU’s Office of the President and acting vice president of university advancement, while Tuite is the university’s director of intercollegiate athletics.

“Lisa and Marie are extraordinary women and leaders,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, herself a SVBJ “Woman of Influence” in 2019. “San Jose State is a better institution because of them, and I am grateful they are part of our leadership team.”

Each year, the SVBJ honors and celebrates the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley. Honorees have been selected from the private, public and nonprofit sectors and include leaders in corporations, startups, small businesses, nonprofits, healthcare, education and community services. The SVBJ will honor its 2020 Women of Influence award-winners at an October 15 dinner event.

Lisa Millora, SJSU chief of staff

Lisa Millora, SJSU’s Chief of Staff, Office of the President.

“While I’m honored to be recognized in this fashion, the real ‘influencers’ at San Jose State are the faculty and staff who work each day—often unnoticed—to provide our students with the best education imaginable while helping them to become educated citizens and the next generation of leaders,” said Millora. “They, along with our students, are the true inspiration.”

As chief of staff, Millora works with the president’s cabinet to oversee the day-to-day operations of the university and its 40,000 students, faculty and staff. She drives progress on strategic priorities and promotes operational effectiveness across the top levels of leadership, through oversight of the Office of the President, Strategic Communications and Marketing, Community and Government Relations, University Personnel and, for a period of time, the Division of University Advancement. The values she learned during her days at an all-girls Catholic school, said Millora, led to a career path that would let her work toward social justice outcomes.

“Through Catholic social teaching, I learned that justice meant caring for the most marginalized in society,” she said. Working for a university early in her career, Millora said, helped her discover “the connection between the values I embraced as a child and the path I wanted to pursue professionally.”

Marie Tuite, SJSU athletics director

Marie Tuite, SJSU’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Photo by: Thomas Sanders/San Jose State University.

Tuite, a two-sport student-athlete and Athletics Hall of Fame inductee at Central Michigan University, leads and manages a college athletics program with a $34 million budget that supports 22 sports programs, 490 student-athletes and more than 150 coaches and staff members. She is one of only 11 women nationally with the responsibilities of athletics director at a NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution, that organization’s highest level of college athletics competition among 130 colleges and universities nationwide. In addition, she is the only woman with the athletics director leadership position among the seven NCAA Division I FBS schools in California.

“When I read the names of the other honorees and noticed the footprint of their professional work, I was so honored to be included with these extraordinary and influential women,” said Tuite, who leads a program that has earned 10 NCAA team championships and 52 NCAA individual titles over the years. Tuite oversees a population of student-athletes, coaches and staff members who collectively participate in more than 10,000 hours of community service and campus engagement activities annually.

“I imagine the professional journey for many of them may not always be an easy path to navigate,” said Tuite. “So this wonderful acknowledgement serves as a positive beacon for all women—from every imaginable background—and a reminder to believe in and listen to our inner spirit that speaks to us every day. It’s a privilege to stand with and be included among these women of Silicon Valley.”

In addition to Papazian, Millora and Tuite join Karen Philbrick, executive director of SJSU’s Mineta Transportation Institute, and Stacy Gleixner, former associate vice president for student and faculty success, as past SVBJ Women of Influence award winners from San Jose State.

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian named to 2019 “Women of Influence” by Silicon Valley Business Journal

San Jose State University president Dr. Mary A. Papazian, was named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 2019 Women of Influence list. (Photo: Josie Lepe, '03 BFA Photography )

San Jose State University president Dr. Mary A. Papazian, was named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2019 Women of Influence list. (Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography )

San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian has been named one of 100 “Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Each year, the SVBJ honors and celebrates the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley. Honorees have been selected from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

“It is gratifying to earn this distinction, but it really is the students, faculty, staff and alumni of San Jose State who are our brightest stars,” said SJSU President Papazian. “When they succeed, we all win. This honor reflects the hard work and dedication that are hallmarks of everyone associated with our university and supportive of our mission.”

The SVBJ will honor its 2019 Women of Influence award-winners at a May 16 dinner event and will feature recipients in its May 17 edition.

Papazian joined San Jose State University as its 30th president on July 1, 2016. As the leader of the founding campus of the California State University and Silicon Valley’s only public university, she is firmly committed to student success; open, transparent and inclusive leadership; fostering a culture of curiosity and discovery; and building enduring campus and community partnerships.

In addition to Papazian, six SJSU alumni are also 2019 “Women of Influence” awardees:

  • Carla Bohnett, ’91 Social Science, Lead Photographer and graphic designer, CB Photo Design Studio, Co-owner and President, Women’s Networking Alliance and Associate Director, Artful Journeys
  • Franca Cozzitorto, ’91 Psychology, Head of Enterprise Risk Management, Technology Credit Union
  • Denise Miles, ’99 Political Science, Senior Vice President, Community Relations Senior Consultant in Philanthropy Wells Fargo Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations
  • Larissa Robideaux, ’08 MPA, Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits
  • Andrea Urton, ’98 Psychology, ’01 MS Clinical Psychology, CEO, HomeFirst Services of Santa Clara County
  • Jie Zhu, ’98 Accounting, Partner, Petrinovich Pugh and Co.

Karen Philbrick, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, was a past SVBJ Women of Influence award-winner.